Hundreds Protest SLC Police Headquarters over Dog Shooting

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Hundreds of people gathered outside of the Salt Lake City police headquarters on Saturday to protest officer Brett Olsen’s shooting of a Weimaraner that was minding his own business in his own fenced-in yard.  Geist’s owner, Sean Kendall, and the community want justice.

Geist was in his fenced-in yard when officer Olsen burst through the gate in search of a three-year-old boy who had gone missing.  He did not get Kendall’s permission before advancing on the property, and said Geist had approached him in “an aggressive manner.”  (Well no kidding.  You wouldn’t have been illegally and abruptly entering his territory to cause such a behavior, now would you?)

Sean Kendall holds a poster of Geist.
Sean Kendall holds a poster of Geist.


He then shot Geist and left him to die.  Kendall wasn’t home at the time, and learned of the sad news over the phone.

“About 15 minutes ago I got a phone call from Utah Animal Control, calling to tell me that an officer had shot and killed my dog,” Kendall says in a video he recorded on his cell phone.  “He was inside my backyard in a fenced-off area.  What was the cause for the officer to shoot and kill my dog?”

When Kendall gets home, he lays into bumbling police officers.

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“What was the probable cause to trespass on private property and shoot my dog?”

“We entered the yard looking for a lost child,” Sergeant Joseph Cyr responds.  He says an officer on the scene “was threatened by the dog and shot the dog…. That’s as simple as it gets.”

“So I get to bury my dog because an officer couldn’t back up and close the f—ing gate,” Kendall fires back.

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The video of the confrontation went viral, causing viewers to express their outrage both online and on the street.  The rally outside police headquarters led to the city council asking for an independent investigation into the matter, as well as a review of departmental procedures.

“It’s overwhelming, the support of the community,” Kendall said.  “That makes the loss of my best friend a little bit easier to deal with.

“I believe this officer made a terrible judgment call,” he continued.  “In my profession, if I make a terrible judgment I’m fired.”

Officer Brett Olsen (l) and Police Chief Chris Burbank (r).
Officer Brett Olsen (l) and Police Chief Chris Burbank (r).


Police Chief Chris Burbank said he believes his officer did the right thing.

“It is our responsibility that we do all we can to bring a safe resolution to the circumstances we encounter,” he stated.  “This is a seasoned officer who has tremendous experience and has, in fact, been under fire and performed very well.  I cannot in my mind imagine an officer coming forward and saying we didn’t do all we could to find a missing child.”

So, the search for a missing child trumps being protected from having police illegally enter a property and shoot a resident’s beloved pet?  That’s apparently what Chief Burbank thinks.  As for the missing boy?  He was found inside his own house.  Good job on that search, fellas.

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Now Kendall must mourn the loss of his companion, and hope that the community comradery will help lead to justice for Geist.

“He was kind of all I had.  To me, he wasn’t just some animal.  He was my best friend.  He was kind of like a child.  I went through raising him, training him.”

A Facebook page has been set up for Geist.  To follow the road to justice for him, click here.  If you would like to sign the petition calling for justice, please click here.



Contact info for the SLCPD:

Phone:  (801) 799-3100, (801) 799-3000, (801) 799-6397

Email: [email protected]





10 thoughts on “Hundreds Protest SLC Police Headquarters over Dog Shooting”

  1. I sended e-mail to [email protected] and told what I think about this “officer”. Hopefully he will be prosecuted because he didn’t have no right to be in the yard anyway without permission of the owner not to mention to shoot a dog who was in HIS OWN HOME-YARD, and the yard was fenced. Sad sad incident and I really send my condolences to Geist owner, I will send positive energy and hugs through the universe for him!

  2. Great is there a neighborhood that does’t have kids so I can move there and rest assure that one isn’t going to wander into my yard and a cop isn’t going to shoot my dogs for no reason. WTF this is digusting.

  3. This is such an abuse of power. I don’t care if they were looking for a missing child, that doesn’t give them the right to come onto gated private property and shoot this man’s dog. Did they have evidence the child was there? The officer had ample time to see/hear the dog and get back out of the yard and call for backup to help search if he thought the child was there. And for the police chief to demand respect!!?? First you don’t demand respect, you earn it. Second, respect my right not to be searched illegally with disregard to my private property. I am shocked and outraged the police in this city would take such an attitude to this incident. If you break into my fenced back yard and shoot me because I look intimidating, that’s ok too?

    • These type of people should not work as police officers.* Your whole last sentence needs to be corrected.

  4. This officer was defending himself…enough said. I love how the public is so ready to want this officer put in jail for this, but nobody cares about the sex offenders getting away with their actions and crimes. This officer did the right thing.

  5. Your all retarded! You can’t even spell or use correct grammar. I guess that’s the type of people that can’t see both sides and forgive a highly decorated officer that would put his life before theirs if the situation warranted it. Do not condemn people that you know nothing about, because your most likely not even half the person that Officer Olsen is.

    • “Matt (childhood Friend)” Hello… he gunned down a dog on it’s own property! I don’t care how decorated he is, because in this instance he trespassed on private property without a warrant, and killed a dog. I’m sorry if you hate dogs and see no value in their lives, but to many Americans dogs are valued members of their families. I also noticed your hero Olsen (can’t bring myself to type Officer,) didn’t have the decency to explain himself to the dogs owner. He’s a disgrace in my book, and I’m glad he resides in Utah. I’d hate to have him lurking around my own neighborhood. Oh and by the way, is it “Your all retarded!” or “You’re all retarded!”


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